Filipino-American disc jockey Thomas Neil Rodriguez, also known as DJ Neil Armstrong, gave his mixed-breed dog, Poh, a trip of a lifetime, but unfortunately, under circumstances that no pet owner would wish upon their own canine buddies.
Their story began when Rodriguez adopted Poh from a New York City animal shelter back in December 1999. But earlier this year, the 15-year-old dog was diagnosed with a terminal illness. The veterinarians broke the tragic news that Poh has two “very large tumors” that no operation can take away from his system.
Instead of staying at home while waiting for Poh’s imminent death, Rodriguez decided to maximize his dog’s remaining days by going to a bucket list adventure across United States.
Taking his fiancée with him, Rodriguez took his ailing dog to famous tourist spots from coast to coast.
Poh, who appears to be the traveler type himself, enjoyed the cross-country expedition, which included sightseeing in different parts of Arizona, Nevada, Maryland, Washington, D.C., North Carolina, New York, California, Tennessee, Texas, and Oregon.
To document the seven-week long travel, Rodriguez created an Instagram account to upload highlights of Poh’s excursions. With more than 76,000 followers, the dog has turned into quite an online celebrity. His photos show him posing in front of popular landmarks, relaxing at his green wagon at lull moments, getting his paws wet at the beach, and making new friends along the way.
After traversing 35 cities, Poh’s failing health soon caught up with him. Rodriguez had to decide on a forced return to their home in Queens, New York City.
Rodriguez encouraged other pet owners to take his experience as an inspiration to show some love to their dogs while they’re still around, “Go on adventures with their dog like, while they can. I wish I was able to do this with my dog when I didn’t have to put him in his cart and he was older.”